Coming off the back of the success of the 2018-2019 season, expectations for the Carolina Hurricanes are high. Fans are eager to see the team continue that trend as well as see some improvements.
The Carolina Hurricanes were one of the surprise Cinderella stories of the 2018-2019 season. Fans, of course, ate it up. Now, going into the 2019-2020 season, the Hurricanes have some high expectations to live up to.
I recently spoke with some fans about what they want to see out of the team, as well as their favorite player(s) if they have one. I also spoke with a couple fans of other teams to get their outlook on the Hurricanes upcoming season. I was even able to get a word from the best mascot in sports himself, Hamilton!
What are some areas you think the Hurricanes can improve at this season?
Hamilton the Pig: “Improvements on the season should include, organic carrots at all stands, 1 free blueberry to everyone who enters the stadium, and skating hard full 60. Last one isn’t really an improvement, but something we need to continue doing. Blueberries though, that’s a must….”
Kilted Caniac: “I want to see them come together early and score more goals with lesser shots taken on net. As well as just the opposite on the power play were they seem to make one more pass than they should. Aggravations grow when you know that last pass should have been a shot. You have 2 minutes with an extra skater. 2-3 passes to set it up and shoot..not look for more passes.”
“Another thing is that with the team they have and the Lines, they need to apply more pressure while in the d zone. Back to power play, this year let’s hope they break out fast, and enter the neutral zone with speed and smart plays while getting the puck in the O-Zone.”
Sarah Bradshaw: “I think a huge improvement that I’m hoping for is on special teams. The Gardiner acquisition will be big for us on the PP having a true “quarterback” type position.”
Taylor G: “I’m hoping to see an improved power play with some of our new additions. Also looking for the team to get out to a hot start and keep it. I’d like to see us in a playoff position for the entire season.”
Ayna Kae: “The main thing that I want to see from the canes is the continued closeness they experienced last season. Being united as a team is one of the most important keys to success, especially if they’re going to make it to the playoffs again which I am confident of.”
Sarah Donaldson: “Honestly, the biggest improvement I want to see is on the power play. That’s the biggest issue coming off of last season, in my opinion. Passing so much on the power play…. not always the answer chief. ”
“I would like to see the WHOLE team play a bit more of a physical game. When the Canes are being physical and hitting guys, it seems they’re playing better. Also, zone control, especially on the power play.”
JB: “I’d love to see the power play come together, if we can get scoring on that that’d be AMAZING and we’d be such a bigger force.”
Shlomo: ” Finish better. Because they left a lot of points on the ice and failed to convert way too often. I have no idea about the power play. in the one pre-season game they had their actual lines it looked alright a few times but they still went 0/5. It’ll take time. And they are desperate for more right handers on power play. ”
Katie Murphy: “I think the power play is still going to be a problem. I think it will be better but I’m not sure we’ve changed enough to fix it at the start of the season. It will take some time to fit Gardiner in and to build chemistry.”
“I also think we lost some size and heavy hitters with ferland and Saku not coming back so I’ll be interested to see who steps up (more hits from Fleury, McGinn and Svech?). Do we add Gauthier to give us size?”
Bearded Caniac: “I want to see from the Canes is a stronger power play. We have too many great players to keep messing around and passing to much and not charging the net. If they can fix that I believe they could be a very dangerous team.”
It seems that everyone is wanting to see an improvement on the power play for the Hurricanes. Which to be fair, is the area that needs some attention. And serious Hurricanes, give Hamilton his carrots.
What do you want to see out of you favorite player(s) this season?
JB on Petr Mrazek: “I want him to keep his aggression/fire up this year, that’s what drew me to him last season and it’s the reason he’s still my favorite player to date. We need players who have that ferocity and tenacity, guys who make fans excited to be there and bring the passion to the team. It translates to the whole bench, they want to win for each other.”
Robin Parnell: “Honestly, I just want to see Dougie Hamilton have a good season in every way possible and hopefully no trade rumors but I know I’m just wishful thinking on that one.”
Anya Kae: “My favorite players are Sebastian Aho and Jaccob Slavin. Aho has set himself up for greatness with his hard work, and I want to see him confident in his capabilities and capitalizing on the lucky bounces and random opportunities. (ie when Seabass stole the puck for St Louis’s goalie behind the goal to sneak it in).”
“As for Slavin, I would like to see him step up as more of a leader. He has a strong focus on bettering himself and the team and I believe he has a lot to give to the team.”
Taylor G: “I’d like to see continued growth from Sebastian Aho and Andrei Svechnikov. I think a lot of the young star players will continue to get better.”
Shlomo: “I want Foegele to be consistent. We got Super Foegele at the beginning of the season and then during the playoffs. He was very inconsistent in-between. Who are we getting? I want Svech to continue to grow and to show that he’s now a legitimate top 6 forward and a serious scoring threat.”
“And I want to see him with that bull rush from the right wing. 35 goals. I want Aho to take another step forward. He’s a pass first guy but he’s still got a great shot. I want him to look to score more. I also want him to play better defensively so that Rod feels comfortable having him play against the opposing top line. I want Dougie to take care of the puck on the defensive end.”
Bearded Caniac: “Far as my favorite player of course is Jordan Martinook, I want to see him keep up his leadership I saw him starting to have. He has great locker room and and ice energy I believe the team can feed off of it. I also want to see my other favorite Petr Mrazek keep up how he finished last season.”
I was also able to talk with a couple fans of other teams to get their outlook on how they see the Hurricanes following up last seasons success. Sie Morley is a Sharks fan and managing editor for Fear The Fin and is one of the hosts of the Locked On Sharks podcast. Alex Crouse is a longtime Penguins fan and a general expert on all things Pens.
Do you see the Hurricanes continuing last seasons success and being a threat in the Metro and Eastern Conference?
Sie: “Yeah definitely. I think there are several Eastern Conference teams who haven’t addressed issues in the off-season. And the Canes have a strong defense and exciting young forwards.”
Alex: “YES I definitely think the canes will continue their success and could be a threat to the metro division and eastern conference. I love it, shaking things up! Looking forward to this season.”
Do you think Svech will have the breakout season everyone is thinking he will?
Sie: “Oh absolutely.”
Alex: “I hope so!!! I think he’ll do well.”
With opening night just a few days away, all the off-season moves will be put to the test. Hopefully the Hurricanes will be able to live up to the expectations they set for themselves. As well as those set by their fans and the rest of the league.
Question for CC readers: What are your expectations for the team this season?